Cisco and Bushtel open up remote West

Cisco and Bushtel open up remote West

Cisco Systems is set to provide the networking infrastructure for Australia's first public high speed wireless network, using Internet protocol in the nation's remote north-west.

The Wireless Local Loop (WLL) service, connected to a national telecommunications network, is to be rolled out in conjunction with rural telco Bush Telegraph (BushTel) in North Western AustraliaBushTel is a telecommunications service provider committed to building cheaper and faster voice and data casting services throughout remote areas, using wireless technology on spectrum licences procured from the Australian Communications Authority.

"The adoption of Cisco wireless networking solutions will give BushTel the capacity to provide a host of services which the region would otherwise not have access to," said Terry Walsh, Cisco Systems managing director, Australia and NZ.

"These services include IP (Internet Protocol) telephony for local Broome Small to Medium Businesses, Virtual Private Networks for businesses, distance education facilities, telemedicine, teleconferencing, lower phone call charges and localised support and infrastructure."

Pat Dodson, BushTel chairman and former chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation believes BushTel's bandwidth will "help remedy the digital divide and enable Northern Australians to fully participate in the rapidly changing new economy."

"The wireless local loops will reach more customers, at lower cost than any other broadband application, and can be deployed in a fraction of the time required for competing DSL, cable or optic fibre solutions," said Greg Travelstead, BushTel managing director Cisco has also extended its Networking Academy Program into the remote WA community of Broome to provide training courses and skills for the Internet economy.

Under the scheme, students will be offered courses in Internet networking, and the opportunity to qualify as a Cisco Certified Network Associate, a highly sought after qualification within the rapidly expanding telecommunications and networking industry.

"The Networking Academy program in Broome was designed to increase the technological expertise in the region with emphasis being placed on the indigenous population," said Walsh at the launch.

"This is about Cisco and its education partners doing something real and positive to help bridge the digital divide and to help fill the skills gap Australia is currently experiencing. There is no reason Australians living in regional and remote areas should be denied the opportunity to participate in the new economy."

The program will also provide BushTel with qualified personnel to deploy and maintain the Wireless Local Loop network.

The program will be implemented across all three sectors of education in Broome in early 2001, including the community's two high schools, Kimberley College of TAFE and Notre Dame University.

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